1) MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (PG-13)
20th Century Fox
Kenneth Branagh’s take on the classic Agatha Christie whodunit “Murder on the Orient Express” is like its namesake: Luxurious, workmanlike…and just a bit stodgy. Branagh plays detective Hercule Poirot who is pressed into service when a gangster, played by Johnny Depp, is murdered on a train traveling from Istanbul to London.
This would be very good movie if it were 1939. But it's 2017. It's well done and looks great. But it's so stiff and lifeless. And the card board cut-out acting. Lets be honest. Do people really watch movies like this anymore? It's about as energetic as playing the board game Clue.
While the termination isn’t particularly memorable, the journey on this Orient Express is pleasant enough.
I was ready to hop off this train before it even left the station.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
2) DADDY'S HOME 2 (PG-13)
"Daddy's Home 2" is actually much funnier than the first. Now I know it's basically the same movie as "Bad Mom's Christmas" it has enough going for it to make it watchable. In "Bad Mom's 2" the main characters deal with their mothers who are home for the holidays. In "Daddy's Home 2" Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's dads are home for the holidays played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson who both steal the show. It's dumb, silly but easy fun.
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
3) THE FLORIDA PROJECT (R)
The poor who live on the fringes of society are the focus of “The Florida Project,” a realistic slice of life drama set in the seedy shadow of Disney World. Willem Dafoe plays the manager of a low rent motel catering to families with mischievous, potentially delinquent kids who lack supervision. Most of the focus is on 10-year-old Moonee, played brilliantly by young Brooklyn Prince.
Talk about a film that packs a punch. They are polishing Dafoe's Oscar and Prince is amazing in this touching and heartbreaking movie that's devastatingly real.
There's little in the way of plot, but this gritty R-rated film builds to an emotionally gripping finale. It’s an observant examination of modern American poverty.
Tears baby tears.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: “Mayhem” in an R-rated action/adventure/horror film starring Steven Yeun. In "Bitch," Marianna Palka plays a poorly treated housewife who goes psychotic and assumes the identity of a dog. “My Friend Dahmer” is a drama about one of America’s most infamous serial killers. “Wonderstruck” is a drama based on Brian Selznick’s acclaimed novel involving two stories about runaway kids, spaced 50 years apart.
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